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Concurrency bugs in open source software: a case study


Publication Type:

Journal article


Journal of Internet Services and Applications






Concurrent programming puts demands on software debugging and testing, as concurrent software may exhibit problems not present in sequential software, e.g., deadlocks and race conditions. In aiming to increase efficiency and effectiveness of debugging and bug-fixing for concurrent software, a deep understanding of concurrency bugs, their frequency and fixing-times would be helpful. Similarly, to design effective tools and techniques for testing and debugging concurrent software, understanding the differences between non-concurrency and concurrency bugs in real-word software would be useful.This paper presents an empirical study focusing on understanding the differences and similarities between concurrency bugs and other bugs, as well as the differences among various concurrency bug types in terms of their severity and their fixing time, and reproducibility. Our basis is a comprehensive analysis of bug reports covering several generations of five open source software projects. The analysis involves a total of 11860 bug reports from the last decade, including 351 reports related to concurrency bugs. We found that concurrency bugs are different from other bugs in terms of their fixing time and severity while they are similar in terms of reproducibility. Our findings shed light on concurrency bugs and could thereby influence future design and development of concurrent software, their debugging and testing, as well as related tools.


author = {Sara Abbaspour and Daniel Sundmark and Sigrid Eldh and Hans Hansson},
title = {Concurrency bugs in open source software: a case study},
pages = {4--19},
month = {April},
year = {2017},
journal = {Journal of Internet Services and Applications},
publisher = {Springer},
url = {}